Structure–mechanics relationships in mineralized tendons

Spiesz, Ewa M.; Zysset, Philippe K. (2015). Structure–mechanics relationships in mineralized tendons. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials, 52, pp. 72-84. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2015.03.013

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In this paper, we review the hierarchical structure and the resulting elastic properties of mineralized tendons as obtained by various multiscale experimental and computational methods spanning from nano- to macroscale. The mechanical properties of mineralized collagen fibres are important to understand the mechanics of hard tissues constituted by complex arrangements of these fibres, like in human lamellar bone. The uniaxial mineralized collagen fibre array naturally occurring in avian tendons is a well studied model tissue for investigating various stages of tissue mineralization and the corresponding elastic properties. Some avian tendons mineralize with maturation, which results in a graded structure containing two zones of distinct morphology, circumferential and interstitial. These zones exhibit different amounts of mineral, collagen, pores and a different mineral distribution between collagen fibrillar and extrafibrillar space that lead to distinct elastic properties. Mineralized tendon cells have two phenotypes: elongated tenocytes placed between fibres in the circumferential zone and cuboidal cells with lower aspect ratios in the interstitial zone. Interestingly some regions of avian tendons seem to be predestined to mineralization, which is exhibited as specific collagen cross-linking patterns as well as distribution of minor tendon constituents (like proteoglycans) and loss of collagen crimp. Results of investigations in naturally mineralizing avian tendons may be useful in understanding the pathological mineralization occurring in some human tendons.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Zysset, Philippe


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Philippe Zysset

Date Deposited:

14 Dec 2015 11:48

Last Modified:

14 Dec 2015 11:48

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